Liver Cancer Symptoms and Stages

Liver cancer is a very serious form of cancer which can occur when cancer cells originate and grow within the tissues of the liver.  It may also occur as a result of another kind of cancer which has spread to the liver.  This disease is rated as one of the deadliest cancers in the world and is also a very common type of cancer.  So it can affect a great many people.  Like all other cancers, liver cancer develops and grows in four distinct stages.  It also has some important symptoms which people should understand so they can bring any concerns to the proper medical personnel.  So we will discuss liver cancer symptoms and stages.

If liver cancer is allowed to grow and develop, it goes through several stages.  Each stage is more serious and life threatening than the previous one.  So it is important to try to diagnose and treat the disease in its earliest stages.  But let’s review these stages.

Stage I liver cancer is typified by the presence of a cancerous tumor which measures 2cm or less in diameter.  It tends to be contained within the liver itself and can be treated in the most effective manner generally through surgical removal.

Stage II cancer is still generally confined to the liver but it may be present in several areas within the liver.  This stage is generally still treatable with surgical procedures.

Stage III liver cancer is generally referred to as advanced cancer.  It may have one or more tumors which is 2cm or larger in diameter.  It may also affect the lymph nodes.

And Stage IV liver cancer is the most serious type of cancer.  In this stage the cancer has generally spread throughout the entire liver.  It may also affect other organs, especially the lymph nodes. Unfortunately this stage of cancer has very minimal treatment options other than efforts to make the patient as comfortable as possible while the disease takes its course.  The survival rate for this stage of cancer is very low.

So it is very important to pay attention to the symptoms of liver cancer so that it can hopefully be identified and treated as early as possible.  Some of the important symptoms to be aware of include:

  • Abdominal pain which can range from mild to severe
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Persistent fever
  • Itching of the skin
  • Jaundiced skin tone
  • Nausea
  • Extreme fatigue and exhaustion
  • Dark colored urine
  • Sleeplessness and irritability

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see a medical professional to further testing and review.  A number of effective tests can be performed to detect and assess the presence of cancer.  If it has been identified in the early stages, surgical techniques are usually very successful at treating the disease and eliminating the threat.  But if the disease goes undetected or untreated, it can be life threatening.  So it is important to watch for any changes in your health, especially as it relates to these symptoms.  And get regular checkups to help detect .

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